To be the best Wife, Mom, Daughter, Sister, Friend, and Runner I can be...God willing!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pike's Peak

On our last day in Colorado we decided to make the trek up Pike's Peak.  It is the 31st highest mountain in the state at 14, 110 feet.    Having driven to the top, I can hardly imagine going any higher!

We woke to this beautiful sight out of our hotel window. 

The day was glorious and perfect for driving to the top of a mountain.  The road to the top is 19 miles long.  The roads are narrow with few guard rails and many switch back sections.  To say I was a nervous wreck is a huge understatement.  Drew kept telling me the view was amazing, but I hardly looked.  I just prayed we would get to the top safely.
We started at the bottom red sign and switch backed all the way to the top!
We stopped about half way up to get snacks for the kiddos.  We also got our winter gear ready.  It was about 55 degrees when we started our drive up and we knew that it would be about 25 degrees at the top. 

When we finally reached the peak, I felt this huge relief.  We made it safely!!  It was so, so, so windy and COLD.  It was almost too cold to describe and the wind was brutal.  It was 29 degrees and I would guess the wind was 20-30 mph sustained.  We tried to take pictures, but they are really just hilarious.  We were all too cold to look at the camera.  Gail and Drew felt a little sick from the altitude. I had a hard time catching my breath and I am sure the kids did as well.  Elena just cried until we went inside the gift shop/rest area. 
The best one!
The wind was fierce
Emma was trying so hard to smile, but it was just so hard.
The view from the top was amazing...really beyond words.  Katharine Bates wrote "America the Beautiful" in 1893 after having been at the peak.  The words mean something more to me having seen what she saw.  The mountains are majestic and you feel like you can see from sea to sea.  Jonah even said "I can see the whole world from here."  It was definitely a drive worth making.  I am so thankful Emma, Jonah, Samuel, and Elena were able to see the beauty of God's earth!
One of the views from the peak
You can see the cog railway tracks in this picture.

Elena refused to look into the wind, but this is pretty good considering the conditions!
Driving down was better than I expected.  Drew obliged his nervous wife by stopping at all the rest/pull off spots.  The chance to lose your breaks is pretty high and not a risk I cared to take at 14, 000 feet.  These pictures were taken at approximately 12, 500 feet.  I really felt like we were looking down on the world!

We just drove down this part of the road and this was pretty flat!
Elena fell asleep about 3 minutes after we got back into the car.
At mile 6, which was around 8, 000 feet we stopped for a picnic lunch.  The spot had a lovely frozen lake surrounded by pine trees.  It was very picturesque.  It was so nice to eat in 55 degrees with minimal wind.  The kids were much happier. 
I just love how beautiful this is!
The sun's rays are streaming in the picture!
Our time in Colorado was restorative for all of us.  The kids were able to play, have fun, and do whatever they wanted for several days.  It was a just what they wanted to do.  Drew was able to ski and watch his kids ski.  I was able to relax, run, and rest at my leisure.  There were no schedules.  It was wonderful.  Ending our trip by visiting this amazing mountain was like cream cheese icing on a homemade cake.  It was just finger licking wonderful!

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